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The Japanese and Korean car and steel industries are often touted as examples of successful infant industries.

I'm trying to find some famous examples of failed infant industries. (They don't seem to show up easily on a quick Google search, so it would perhaps seem like there are not many such examples?)

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    $\begingroup$ For UK examples this Publication by the Institute of Economic Affairs (iea.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/files/…) may be helpful, although some of the examples are better described as projects than infant industries. $\endgroup$ – Adam Bailey Mar 14 '16 at 10:00
  • $\begingroup$ Why do the examples have to be famous? Almost all industries that fail in the very early days tend to be forgettable and largely forgotten. $\endgroup$ – EnergyNumbers Apr 14 '16 at 7:50
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Malaysia's Proton cars (if you want a specific example ), but overall the Malaysia Automobile industry failed. Currently, only the locals drive Malaysian cars.

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I think Argentina has several failed infant industries, a good starting point is at the section Relative Lag on the Wikipedia page. A more specific example is when they tried nationalizing the railways from the British, as seen in this article.

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The following is Table 2 from The Infant Industry Argument: a Critical Scrutiny:

enter image description here J.M.H. Govers (2012)

Therefore, a second best alternative can be introduced which examines the rate of productivity growth of the protected industry while drawing a comparison with unprotected industries in other countries (Bell et al., 1984). As an alternative one can look at the changes in productivity levels of infants during a period of protection.... The majority of the firms presented however, show a modest productivity growth while being under protection....A rough comparison therefore concludes that only a part of the infant industries represented in Table 2 experience higher levels of productivity growth than their mature peers abroad.

So, roughly speaking, the industries in this table with productivity changes below 5% can be thought of as infant industry failures and failures of industrial policy.

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Some famous examples of failed infant industries

The nuclear fusion industry, despite more than half a century of trying through various technical fixes and subterfuges has failed to get anywhere. If it didn’t promise so much it surely would have been killed off by now.

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